Friday March 27th 0103 Local 0603 UTC
Our passage through the intial part of the Pacific
from Panama to Galapagos has so far been excellent. The weather forecast was
showing little or no wind and the passage to Galapagos from Panama has been said
by some sailors to be the slowest hottest sailing they have done. There seems to
me, to be a significant amount of yachts waiting at Balboa for better winds and
in fact we spoke with several. With passages of this distance I dont believe in
waiting for a "good" weather forecast. It may never come. I prefer to just get
out there and deal with it. We left when we planned to leave and were not
looking forward to "little or no wind" and the prospect of motoring all the way.
However when we left Islas Perlas we skirted along
the Panamanian coast and we got a day and a half of winds 15 - 18 knots which
were generated by coastal influences as opposed to the gradient wind which, away
from the coast was lighter. We then had to motor for a bit as winds dropped to 5
knots or so. We also suffered a adverse head on current of more than 1.5 knots
until we finally wriggled out of its clutches on Thursday morning and by
now we we have a gentle conveyor belt of well over a knot carrying us silently
and steadily to Galapagos.
Currently the winds are very light at about 8 -
9 knots, but because the angle is good ( 90 - 110 deg ) and we have a
favourable current we are making about 7.5 - 8 knots with white sails only
directly to Santa Cruz in Galapagos. Our ETA is about 1700 today, if we do
that we will have covered the 900ish miles in 4 1/2 ish days. The sea is almost
flat and it is slightly surreal how good our VMG is. Angus and I still
lament the fact that we had almost no free wind at all in the Atlantic, and
this trip, (which may surprise you at being a third of the Atlantic
distance) although winds have been light they have been on our beam and we
have been free to trim or sail on, above or below our course as suits us. More
of the same please King Neptune!
Speaking of whom we have an appointment with at
about 0700 local time today. We should be crossing the equator then and we
have a plan on how we will celebrate the crossing but we have to wait
and see if it is possible. I will report later.